The Conservatives are speeding up their leadership contest to set up a battle between two big name candidates within the next fortnight, with Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt most likely to make the final cut. Announcing the rule changes, the party said candidates must declare at least eight nominations from fellow Conservative MPs by Monday in a move that will knock out some of the lesser known hopefuls. All candidates will then need the votes of 17 Conservative MPs – at least 5% of the parliamentary party – to stay in the first round ballot and at least 33 – or 10% of Tory MPs– to stay in the second round of voting.
The Conservatives have changed the rules for leadership elections to eliminate candidates with little support, a senior party source has told Sky News. The change means candidates will need the backing of eight MPs to formally enter the ballot, compared to the current total of just two. In the ballot itself, candidates will be required to win 5% of votes (17 MPs) to move on from the first round and 10% (33 MPs) to make it through the second round.
Following meetings of the 1922 Executive Committee and the Conservative Party Board today, the rules on how the Conservative Party leadership contest will proceed have been agreed. After the Prime Minister formally steps down as Leader of the Conservative & Unionist Party, the process to elect a new Leader will begin. The Rt Hon Theresa May MP will remain Acting Leader of the party until a successor is appointed.
THE Tory leadership contest will finally get in full-swing after a leading Conservative MP confirmed the influential 1922 committee of backbenchers will make drastic changes in the rules to trim down the number of candidates. A dozen hopefuls presently wish to try and succeed Theresa May however that figure will be radically reduced as Tory executives take control of the process.
The Conservative Party has revealed that the next Prime Minister will be announced in the week beginning July 22nd. It comes as the party announced significant changes to the rules on how they will select their new leader. The revised rules were brought in after party grandees worried that the race, which until yesterday featured 13 candidates, would drag on and on plunging the country into yet more constitutional chaos.
Another Tory leadership contender has dropped out of the race for No 10, as the party agreed fast-track rules to weed out candidates with little chance of winning. Kit Malthouse, a rank outsider, announced he was withdrawing from the contest because he was “a realist” about his chances – hours after James Cleverly made the same decision. It reduced the number of candidates to 11, as the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservatives agreed they would need eight nominations – rather than just two – to enter the race next week.
James Cleverly has withdrawn from the Conservative leadership race because MPs are unwilling to “skip a generation” for the next prime minister. The Brexit minister, who only became an MP in 2015 and a minister two months ago, announced his long-shot candidacy less than a week ago, saying that “to inspire the British people we need to look different, sound different, and offer something new.”
Kit Malthouse has pulled out of the Tory leadership race. His withdrawal brings the total number of MPs currently vying for the position down to 11, after Brexit minister James Cleverly also stood aside earlier on Tuesday. Mr Malthouse announced his decision on Twitter and said: “I have decided to withdraw from the contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Thank you to all those who have supported me.” The housing minister and MP for North West Hampshire said he thinks there is “an appetite for this contest to be over quickly”.
Boris Johnson has warned Tory MPs “delay means defeat” as he told a leadership hustings the Conservative Party faces “extinction” if Britain is not out of the EU by October 31. Setting out his pitch to be the next prime minister to 100 of his colleagues, the former foreign secretary said the Tories were “facing an existential crisis” and he believed he was the man “to beat Jeremy Corbyn and put Farage back in his box”.
Boris Johnson has warned the Conservative party it is facing extinction if it does not deliver Brexit and put Nigel Farage “back in his box” as he spoke at a hustings of candidates to be the next prime minister from which the press and public were banned. Johnson told MPs from the centrist One Nation wing of the party that it was crucial to take the UK out of the EU at the end of October, arguing that he was the candidate to see off both Farage and Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn.
The Conservatives face “potential extinction” if they do not get Brexit done, Boris Johnson has warned. The former foreign secretary told a leadership hustings the party will “not be forgiven” if it does not take the UK out of the EU by 31 October as planned. He said he was best placed to beat Labour and “put Nigel Farage back in his box” but reportedly ruled out a snap general election if he becomes PM.
BORIS Johnson tonight warned the Tories face “extinction” if they fail to deliver Brexit. The frontrunner told “One Nation” moderate Tory MPs the party had to realise the “depth of problems we face”. And in the first hustings of the contest, the former Foreign Secretary said: “Unless we get on and do this thing, we will be punished for a very long time. “There is a very real choice between getting Brexit done – and the potential extinction of this great party.”
Boris Johnson’s campaign to replace Theresa May has received a significant boost today with the backing of three rising Tory stars who declare him a “proven winner”. A trio of ministers, two elected in 2015 and one in 2014 — the moderates Rishi Sunak, Robert Jenrick and Oliver Dowden — hail Mr Johnson as a One Nation Conservative whose values can “inspire the country and revitalise our party” while fending off Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage.
BORIS JOHNSON has received a huge boost in the Tory leadership contest as three key moderates backed the Brexiteer. The former Foreign Secretary has been declared a “proven winner” by a trio of influential ministers. Rishi Sunak, Robert Jnerick and Oliver Dowden said Boris Johnson is a One Nation Conservative, The Times reported. Mr Johnson is now in the lead with 40 public endorsements, 14 ahead of rivals, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt.
The NHS “will be on the table” in a post-Brexit trade deal between America and the UK, Donald Trump has insisted. The US president today said that nothing would be off-limits in remarks that have inflamed controversy over a promised new economic agreement. Mr Trump also praised Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt as he called a series of Tory leadership candidates for one-to-one meetings. Although Mr Trump asked to see Michael Gove, he said he did not know the environment secretary.
US President Donald Trump spoke alongside Prime Minister Theresa May this afternoon and once again highlighted his desire for a big US-UK trade deal. May spoke of a “celebration of the special relationship” and talked up the US and UK as “enduring partners”. The PM also noted “positive discussions” with Trump when it comes to the possibility of a UK-US free trade deal.
A post-Brexit trade agreement with the United States will not force Britain to dilute food standards or open up the National Health Service to American companies, Liam Fox has insisted. The international trade secretary sought to dampen fears over American demands after President Trump said that his officials were ready to start work on a “fair deal”. Dr Fox has persistently dismissed claims that a transatlantic pact would pave the way for chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef to arrive on supermarket shelves in Britain after it leaves the European Union.
Donald Trump has backtracked after declaring the NHS must be “on the table” in post-Brexit trade deal talks between the US and UK. Speaking on the second day of his three-day state visit, the US president said a “phenomenal” agreement was possible, one which could triple the volume of trade between the two nations and offered “tremendous” potential. But at the same time he made clear there could be no limit to the scope of the negotiations.
The Brexit Party has announced its “common sense”, long term plan to rescue ailing British Steel, what they call a strategic national industry. Party Chairman Richard Tice, speaking exclusively to Breitbart News in advance of a policy launch at British Steel’s Scunthorpe headquarters, said that the troubled company was a strategic national interest which could only be preserved with imaginative long term capital investment.
Change UK has split with six of its 11 MPs quitting the party. Interim leader Heidi Allen has left, alongside Sarah Wollaston, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith and Chuka Umunna. Anna Soubry has been appointed the party’s new leader. She said: “I’m deeply disappointed that at such a crucial time in British politics our former colleagues have made this decision. Now is not the time to walk away, but instead to roll up our sleeves and stand up for the sensible mainstream centre ground.”
The Change UK party descended into chaos tonight after more than half its MPs quit. Leader Heidi Allen, Sarah Wollaston, Chuka Umunna, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith and Luciana Berger have all walked out of the fledgling movement. The extraordinary implosion comes after a dire showing for the Remainer party – which was only founded three months ago by MPs defecting from Labour and the Tories – in European elections last month.
The anti-Brexit ‘Change UK’ are falling apart after failing to elect a single MEP at the European Elections. What a contrast to the also new Brexit Party that won the Election and elected 29 MEPs. Anna Soubry is now the new Leader, with only four other MPs seemingly sticking with the gang: Chris Leslie, Joan Ryan, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey. Will the likes of Heidi Allen and Chuka Umunna now try and join the Liberal Democrats?
The Change UK (CUK) party have split just four months after their formation, with six of their 11 Members of Parliament opting to leave and Anna Soubry taking over as leader of the remaining five. Heidi Allen, Chuka Umunna, Sarah Wollaston, Angela Smith, Luciana Berger, and Gavin Shuker all opted to leave the party today and said they would be “returning to supporting each other as an independent grouping of MPs”, the BBC reports.
Six MPs have quit the Change UK party, with high-profile figures including Chuka Umunna and Heidi Allen walking out of the newly formed party. Anna Soubry has become leader and criticised her fellow MPs, telling them “now is not the time to walk away.” The split comes after the party, originally called the Independent Group, performed badly in the European Parliament elections, securing just 3.4% of the vote.
More than half of Change UK’s MPs have quit the party less than four months after it was founded. Anna Soubry will lead a continuity group of five MPs but the other six have decided to once again be an alliance of independents in the Commons. The six departures are Heidi Allen, who was Change UK’s leader, her fellow former Conservative Sarah Wollaston and the former Labour MPs Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker and Angela Smith.
The Tories accused Labour of plotting a tax raid on Middle England which could increase the average family’s council tax bill by hundreds of pounds a year. Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said Jeremy Corbyn’s party was considering a new homes tax which would target family-sized houses with large gardens. He pointed to a Labour-backed report, published on Monday, which proposed scrapping council tax and replacing it with a ‘progressive property tax’.
Remainer Ruth Davidson had been briefing until recently that she would lead a bloc of Scottish MPs to block Boris being selected on the grounds that he will go down very badly in Scotland. However it turns out that when you drill down into the regional data tables of the YouGov poll of all voters for the Tories under different leaders, that actually Brexiteers have more support in Scotland than Remainers. 21% of Scots are ready for Raab and 20% would back Boris. Aberdeen’s own Michael Gove would score only 19% – the same as Theresa May.
Prison sentences of fewer than six months will be scrapped in proposals to be unveiled this summer, the Justice Secretary has said. David Gauke said there was a ‘strong case’ for less serious offences to be punished with alternatives such as community work. He told the Commons yesterday he was hoping to have ‘firm proposals by the summer’, which means within two months. Mr Gauke said: ‘If short sentences are ineffective at reducing reoffending, then we’re not doing society a favour and we’re not reducing crime.
Sixteen nations have signed a historic statement before the 75th anniversary of D-Day pledging to ensure that the horror of the Second World War is never repeated. The proclamation, co-ordinated by Britain, includes a pledge by the signatories to work together to find common ground and protect against “challenges to peace and stability”. “In this way we salute the surviving veterans of D-Day and we honour the memories of those who came before us,” states the declaration, which has been signed by the US, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and Belgium.
Military veterans, families of those who died and politicians are calling for the focus of the D-day commemoration in Portsmouth to be on those who fought rather than on the controversial presence of Donald Trump. A vast security operation to safeguard the US president and other dignitaries, including Theresa May and the Queen, has been put into place on Southsea Common, the venue for the centrepiece of the British ceremonies to mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings.
The UK is more vulnerable than ever to cyberattacks as they evolve and become more frequent, a report by MPs has warned. The Commons public accounts committee said that the threat was evolving fast and becoming technically more complex as the boundaries between “state-orchestrated attacks and those of cybercriminals [are] increasingly blurred”. The committee acknowledged that more than 1,100 cyberattacks had been dealt with by the National Cyber Security Centre, the defensive branch of GCHQ that was established in 2016.
The greatest threat to Britain’s security is posed by computer software and not military hardware, the head of the Army warned yesterday. General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith said that the ‘weaponisation’ of data will mean that armies are soon judged on their ability to prevent cyber attacks rather than on the capabilities of their tanks and missiles. Sir Mark, a former SAS commander, told a conference hosted by the Royal United Services Institute in London: ‘Europe finds itself subject once more to great power competition.
Nigel Farage faces a European Parliament ban after he was set a 24 hour deadline to explain why he allegedly failed to declare almost half a million pounds in gifts from Brexiteer tycoon Arron Banks. Mr Farage, whose Brexit Party triumphed in the recent European elections, was issued a summons to a formal hearing on Wednesday after a meeting of the parliament’s code of conduct committee on Tuesday afternoon.
Nigel Farage has been given 24 hours by the European parliament to explain in person his failure to declare lavish expenses funded by Arron Banks, an insurance tycoon under investigation by the UK’s National Crime Agency. The summons came just two hours before the Brexit party leader was spotted arriving at the US ambassador’s residence in London for a meeting with Donald Trump during the US president’s state visit to the UK.
Nigel Farage says he will not attend a committee investigating whether he broke European Parliament rules by accepting funding from Leave campaigner Arron Banks. The Brexit Party leader has said he did not declare the £450,000 sum to the assembly because at the time, he was about to leave politics and had been seeking a new life in the US. He said he had only been given 24 hours’ notice to attend a meeting of the committee on Wednesday, which he branded a “kangaroo court”.
Britain should ditch the European Court of Human Rights if it hinders the will of parliament, a former Supreme Court judge said. Speaking in the third of this year’s series of Radio 4’s Reith Lectures, Lord Sumption said that an international court can serve as an external check on domestic governments, but argued that most of the rights that the court has added to British law are “contentious and far from fundamental”. Lord Sumption said that it would be undesirable for the UK to pull out of the European convention on human rights but if the attitude of the judges that uphold the convention did not change he could see no other option.
Prostate cancer patients could get their first targeted treatment after “hugely exciting” results from a drug already used for ovarian and breast cancer. Men with key genetic mutations found that olaparib stopped their tumours growing for an average of eight months, with a third seeing cancer frozen for more than a year. The treatment is likely to be available within two years and could benefit about 4,000 men a year in Britain, experts believe. Drugs that target particular genetic mutations have become one of the mainstays of cancer treatment in the past generation, improving survival for patients with many types of tumours.
The first personalised drug for prostate cancer is set to revolutionise treatment and extend the lives of thousands. A daily pill using a patient’s genetic make-up to undermine a tumour’s defences is said to work in 80 per cent of men with certain genes. Experts believe the treatment – which is already available for ovarian cancer – could benefit up to 4,000 men every year, delaying the moment when the disease becomes deadly.